More than once, I’ve found myself searching the Internet for tutorials on how to make the perfect floral backdrop. The problem? Buying a ton of fresh—or fake!—flowers just isn’t something my budget can handle right now. In my first DIY tutorial, I thought I’d take you through the process of how I turned roadside floral finds into a gorgeous hanging backdrop for a rainy day photo shoot.
Step 1: Find Those Flowers
I’m a huge fan of wisteria. I always have been, and I probably always will be. Luckily for me, wisteria is plentiful in my neighborhood during the month of April. I can’t go more than five feet without spotting a mass of delicate purple blossoms hanging from tree limbs, swaying gently in the breeze. Something about seeing all that wisteria makes me feel as though I’ve been transported to someplace magical, and that’s the type of mood I wanted to evoke in the set of self-portraits I was planning to take.
Whether you like wisteria, daffodils, lilacs or anything in between, the first step of making your gorgeous floral backdrop is to find a flower that appeals to you in some way. If your budget is practically non-existent, take a look outside to see if there are any wildflowers growing in or near your home that might work for your project. (Side note: Please don’t pick any wildflowers alongside highways or on another person’s property!) If you can afford to buy fresh-cut flowers, try shopping at a locally-owned business or a farmer’s market instead of buying blooms from a grocery store or a discount retailer.
Step 2: Gather The Essentials
Once you’ve decided on a flower, it’s time to gather enough blooms to complete your backdrop. The number of blooms you’ll need will depend on the size of the backdrop you’re hoping to create. I knew that I wanted to create a backdrop that would be approximately 50 inches in length, so all of my directions from here on out will be specific to that size.
If you’re planning to gather wildflowers like I did, make sure to bring the following items with you to ensure both your own safety and the safety of the flowers around you: gardening gloves; a sturdy pair of scissors or gardening shears; gardening boots (or some other form of sturdy, protective footwear); and a bag (preferably of the reusable variety) that is roughly the same size as a standard grocery tote.
Now you’re all set and ready to go! While cutting blooms, please make sure you don’t cause damage to any other plants, trees or vines that you may encounter. While I was gathering wisteria blossoms, I made sure not to cut into the actual branches that were supporting the individual blooms. I also made sure not to take blooms from any one specific area. Instead, I cut blooms from a handful of trees so as not to noticeably disrupt the beauty Mother Nature had on display. (Side note: If you decided to purchase fresh-cut or fake flowers, none of these instructions apply to you!)
Step Three: Let’s Get Crafty
So, you’ve gathered all the blooms you think you’ll need to create the hanging floral backdrop of your dreams. Now what? Although I’m sure there are a million different ways to go about assembling a floral backdrop, I went with a method that seemed to make the most sense for me.
I knew that I would be using two backdrop stands to hold up my hanging floral creation, so I set those up roughly 50 inches apart and tied a length of standard unbleached cooking twine between the two poles. Then, I set my blooms out on a flat surface and began attaching them to the twine already in place by simply cutting twine off at various lengths, tying a knot around the end of each wisteria stem and attaching each to the length of twine with yet another small knot. In terms of where to place the blooms, that’s all up to you! For my version, I wanted to capture the beauty of those hanging boughs lining my street, so I made sure to hang blooms close together yet at varying lengths in order to create a beautiful overlap of blooms.
Would you all be interested in seeing more DIY posts in the future? If so, be sure to let me know!